“You can feel good in contrast to the hard times you’re in.” -unknown
Today was one of those days where fear, uncertainty, and exhaustion took over, and I cried. . . and cried. . . and cried. I’m so tired of life being hard. I’m tired of feeling like I’m always surviving, adapting, shifting, and trying. Even having faith in my dreams feels impossible right now, because making it from the start to finish of each day feels like a week’s worth of trials. I work and work and work for what? To do it all over again tomorrow? There’s a heaviness in every aspect of life right now, a constant need to be positive in the face of the unknown, and the necessity to instantly pivot emotionally, mentally, and physically whenever another unexpected hurdle appears so that everything doesn’t disintegrate into madness. I’m really good at rising up and doing whatever necessary to provide for my family and get shit done, but sometimes I hit a wall, and today I desperately wished I could fall down, walk away, and take a break. But there’s no room in my world for me to crumble, and no one to step-in and pick-up the pieces or be strong when I’m weak, so I battle through the moments of crushing fear, worry, and loneliness until I’m back to feeling strong again. Today was hard as hell. My heart felt so heavy and hopeless as I attempted to make sense out of new oppositions and new changes forced upon me. I’m living in the kind of emotional exhaustion that feels like sleep walking through my life, and as the challenges of balancing full-time at-home work with the needs of my children continues, the heaviness increases. I feel like I’m not doing anything in my life well-enough, and that stresses me out and pisses me off. My sleep is restless and my heart is desperate for peace and reassurance. Most days the only things I feel like I’m doing well is eating healthy and consistently working out. Fitness is my escape; the place where I feel stable, focused, challenged, accomplished, and able to release my pent-up stress and anxiety.
Within the sorrow and emotional heaviness there’s a part of me that knows I’ll get through this, and tomorrow won’t feel as raw as today. I know that I’m often happy, excited, and inspired while facing all the same challenges that are too much for me to handle today. It’s helpful to have a flicker of hope when everything feels like it’s crashing down and too much to face, but the reality is that even when I wake up tomorrow and my spirit feels stronger and more hopeful, the same set of difficult circumstances will be waiting for me.
I want to change the circumstances so I don’t have to keep digging up the strength to continue fighting the same fight.
I vented to a friend today: “I’m tired of having to be strong” and “I’m not doing anything in my life well enough”, and as the words left my mouth I felt guilty for complaining. Everyone is going through unprecedented hardship right now. Everyone is facing uncertainty. It could be so much worse. I realized that I have extremely high expectations on myself in every area of my life: professionally, for my family & friends, and for my own growth and self-care. I can’t be 500% everyday, yet that’s the pressure I continually placing upon myself. I often feel resentment toward myself for not accomplishing more in a day, or for not exceeding expectations, or for not handling a situation with more patience or grace, or for wishing I could fast-forward through this challenging season of life.
While crying I sank into the pain, hopeful I could understand how I got to this dark moment. I quickly identified fear, uncertainty, and anger. I held the sides of my face with my hands, because I desperately needed comfort and my own hands were my only option for connection, and I whispered “going through hard shit sucks” over and over. I continued to comfort myself by affirming my feelings; I accepted the struggle and fear as natural, I envisioned the uncertainty like quicksand under my feet, and I acknowledged that my anger for everything lost and my fear of the unknown are normal emotions. I gave myself permission to hurt instead of critiquing myself for being unsteady, and I slowly started to breathe deeply again. Eventually I felt strong enough to go back to facing the needs and challenges of my day, tear stained and fragile, but moving forward once again.
For the remainder of the day I practiced “I Am Statements” to counterbalance my lingering sadness and feed positivity into my soul. I am resilient. I am powerful. I am strong. I am adaptable. I am prepared. I am enough. I am worthy. I am brave. I am a provider. I am a leader. I am a warrior. I am balance. I am growing. I am love.
“The reservoir that holds peace and joy is the same place that holds brokenness and sorrow. If it all lives inside of you, what matters is how you view yourself.” -unknown